- 10 Posts. Joined 5/2014
- Select All Posts By This User
New kitten litter box troubles.
TheCatSite.com Top Picks
- 5,256 Posts. Joined 6/2003
- Location: East Coast, USA
- Select All Posts By This User
Well I got my two kittens last weekend. They are roughly 8-10 weeks old. My first one being Gipedo has had no trouble finding and using the litter box. My other one Guen, not so much. She seems to be using the litter box fine when I'm home... Or awake. But when I'm asleep she will pee or even poop in the bed on my blankets. I've never seen this sort of behavior in a cat before. I know it's Guen because earlier tonight I was laying watching a movie. Laying still as if asleep and I had Gipedo asleep on my chest when next thing I know I have a warm liquid on my ankles and the smell of a fresh turd. I wasn't sure how to handle this with a cat, so I put her nose near it and smacked her butt telling her no. Then I put her into the litter box. The problem is that I can't ever seem to catch her in the act. She's always finished by the time I realize it happened. Or even I'm asleep and wake up with a wet spot or turd in the bed. How do I correct this behavior before it becomes a problem? I love the little girl but if it continues I'll have to consider getting rid of her
I would recommend a re-training program for the kitten who may not have gotten enough training from her mom. Please do not ever punish her again - putting her nose near it and smacking her butt means nothing to her except that you are becoming the enemy. Her mind does not make ANY positive association between negative feedback and what you want her to do.
The rest of what I have to offer will make more sense when I explain that our response to a young kitten with litterbox problems is not to slowly ratchet up the training, starting with something mild, and moving to something more intense if Plan A doesn't work. It's the opposite: we start with intense retraining slowly working our way back down to normal. Think of this as a behavioral emergency that needs to be fixed ASAP, or as you said you would give up the kitten and that is a big problem for the kitten, and makes his next adoption that much harder, and his re-training delayed.
First, are you using the exact type of litter that they used where you got them from?
What type of litter is that, and if you're using something different what is it?
How many litter boxes do you have?
Where are they located?
- You need plain clay unscented litter or the litter that they used where you got them.
- You may need (probably need) a small wire crate
(I would do this with both kittens, for the sake of keeping them together)
- They must be confined in a space that is small enough to convince the untrained kitten that s/he must use the litter box. That could be a small room like a bathroom, but there is a good chance that a bathroom won't be small enough.
- If s/he goes out of the box when confined to the bathroom, then immediately the kittens have to be confined to a crate with a litterbox in the crate along with food and water. If this works, then the kittens must stay in the crate (except for supervised trips outside) 24/7 for at least a week assuming few/no accidents. After a week in the crate, then its at least a few days in the bathroom to see how that goes. If that goes well then the kitten should be re-trained.
- If the litterbox in the crate doesn't work, then you have to remove the litter box and cover the entire floor of the crate with litter. Messy from your perspective but not from the cat's, so just go with it. Now the kitten will have no choice at all but to pee and poop in the litter. Over the course of a few days to a week, start pushing the litter more and more towards the back of the crate so the kitten has a choice to use the litter or use the floor of the crate. So long as s/he uses the litter, then keep pushing the litter back. When the litter is towards the back and s/he is using it, replace it with a box. Continue with the box for up to a week. Then the bathroom. Then released :-)
This is the only way I know how to solve this problem. The kitten's future and her/his ability to live in a home depend on you now to get this fixed. If you are unwilling to do this re-training please consider giving the kitten back now, not later, so the original owners/shelter can start retraining before it become much harder. The longer you delay the harder it will be.